my adhesion story

From: Christine M. Smith (
Thu Apr 15 08:08:28 1999

Hi again! I thought I'd post a summary of my adhesion problem and if others did the same, maybe it will get a discussion going.

I am a 48 yr old female, history of endometriosis, hysterectomy 1986 (fibroids), treated with Lupron 1995 for endo, major pain episode in June 1997. Because it felt exactly like gynecological pain, I consulted my gyn who insisted it was probably a GI problem. So I had a colonoscopy in Jan 1998 which was normal. This was followed by a laparoscopy in Mar 1998, done by my gyn, who found an adhesion had tied a segment of the small intestine to the abdominal wall. He concluded that the pain episode in June 1997 was probably a partial bowel obstruction. The really amazing thing to me was that it felt *exactly* like menstrual pain (which is why I consulted a gyn). His answer to that was that most menstrual pain is really bowel pain. Anyway, he released this adhesion but left the adhesions he saw all around the sigmoid colon since he knew I had had them for quite awhile (probably 20 years, although not documented by lap)and thought that they would not cause any problems. I had 100% pain relief for about 3 months, then the same exact pain returned, which was in the lower right quadrant. (although at the time of the initial episode it was definitely bilateral pain) I then asked to consult a general surgeon (because it appeared not to be a gyn problem) who repeated the laparoscopy in Sept 1998. He found that the first bowel adhesion had NOT reoccurred so decided to tackle the adhesions around the sigmoid colon. When he did, he found that the sigmoid colon was pulled over, stuck to the right pelvic wall, and folded back on itself. He felt that this was a point of possible obstruction. He freed up the sigmoid colon and left in a saline solution as a barrier. I have had several episodes of pain similar to the first episode in June 1997, but between these episodes I am relatively pain free, although I do have strange feelings in the lower abdominal area that I never had before. I feel like I am an obstruction waiting to happen. I have so many unanswered questions! One is how could the GI doctor do a colonoscopy without noting that my sigmoid colon was first going in the opposite direction from what he would expect? They did say I was "letting them know" it was painful so they gave me another dose of demerol and versed and I remember absolutely nothing. Or, did this happen to the sigmoid colon after the colonoscopy (i.e. at the first lap). Would contrast studies (barium enema or ct) show that the sigmoid colon is in the once again in the wrong place? The general surgeon told me that an xray would probably only show something IF there was complete obstruction. Does this problem with my sigmoid colon make me more prone to other serious disorders, such as twisting of the bowel? Even though I may have had these adhesions for 20 years, the situation down there has been altered. Lots of unaswered questions!

Chris S.

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